Gov. Abbott Won't Hurl Rangers' First Pitch After MLB Moves All-Star Game Texas Governor Greg Abbott throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Texas Rangers taking on the Chicago Cubs during Opening Day at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, on March 28, 2019. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
By Theodore Bunker | Monday, 05 April 2021 03:38 PM
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday announced that he won't throw out the first pitch at the Rangers' home opener because Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game out of Atlanta.
The MLB said in a statement last week that it would relocate the 2021 All-Star Game because of Georgia’s new voting law, which President Joe Biden condemned for restricting voting access for the state’s residents. Some critics say the law places onerous burdens on voters that hit hardest among minorities and poor residents looking to cast ballots.
"I was looking forward to throwing out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers' home opening game until @MLB adopted what has turned out to be a false narrative about Georgia's election law reforms. It is shameful that America's pastime is being influenced by partisan politics," Abbott tweeted.
He added that we would not "participate in an event held by MLB, and the State will not seek to host the All-Star Game or any other MLB special events."
Abbott also said that "this decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization, which is outstanding from top to bottom.”
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement that the decision to relocate the game was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport,” and that the organization made that decision after meeting with teams, former and current players, and groups that represent players.
“Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” Manfred said. “In 2020, MLB became the first professional sports league to join the non-partisan Civic Alliance to help build a future in which everyone participates in shaping the United States. We proudly used our platform to encourage baseball fans and communities throughout our country to perform their civic duty and actively participate in the voting process. Fair access to voting continues to have our game’s unwavering support.”
He added that the MLB is in the process of “finalizing a new host city, and details about these events will be announced shortly.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said in a statement after the MLB issued its announcement: “Today, Major League Baseball caved to fear, political opportunism, and liberal lies. Georgians – and all Americans – should fully understand what the MLB's knee-jerk decision means: cancel culture and woke political activists are coming for every aspect of your life, sports included. If the left doesn’t agree with you, facts and the truth do not matter. This attack on our state is the direct result of repeated lies from Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams about a bill that expands access to the ballot box and ensures the integrity of our elections.
"I will not back down. Georgians will not be bullied. We will continue to stand up for secure, accessible, fair elections. Earlier today, I spoke with the leadership of the Atlanta Braves who informed me they do not support the MLB's decision.”